Steve Schaefer, Forbes Staff
1/23/2013 @ 6:00PM
Last week, when I spoke to Kim Caughey Forrest for an Apple outlook piece that ran this morning, she was even-keeled about the correction in the iPhone-maker’s stock that led a lot of folks to join her in the bearish camp over the past few months.
Forrest, a senior analyst at Fort Pitt Capital, missed the boat on Apple when the stock was surging but didn’t rue it and hasn’t been tempted as it slumped through the fall. (For more of her Apple take read “Terrific Or Terrible, Earnings Won’t Settle Apple Debate.”)
That position looked even better Wednesday, when Apple’s revenue was lighter than expected and it’s forecast failed to inspire, leading to a nearly 10% drop in after-hours trading. (See “Apple’s Holiday Sales, Forecast Miss Estimates.")
There are tech stocks Forrest does like though, and in our conversation she highlighted two in particular.
“Believe it or not we really like Intel,” she said of a stock that slumped more than 21% in the last year. “Everybody has thrown them out, hates them as ‘the PC company,’” Forrest says. Fort Pitt doesn’t think PCs are going anywhere just yet and with that strong base, any ground Intel picks up in the mobile space should prove significant.
ARM Holdings has been the darling among chipmakers thanks to its presence in highly-regarded mobile devices, but Forrest thinks Intel can move in on its territory as employers start demanding more robust capabilities for devices used by an increasingly mobile workforce. She believes the engineering challenge facing Intel – skinnying down chips to cut their power needs – is less significant than that facing ARM – making energy-light chips more productive.
Another big tech name Forrest praises is IBM, which was the best performer in the Dow Jones industrial average Wednesday thank to Tuesday afternoon’s blockbuster earnings report. She calls Big Blue, like Intel, “an excellent operator,” and thinks they are shrewdly pursuing new opportunities without losing sight of the benefits of a huge installed base.
“Everybody talks about the new stuff, but you need the older, higher-margin stuff to make it work.”